Retailers who attended the Wednesday afternoon “Make Your Store Fashionable for Fall 2007” session learned about upcoming fashion trends and got tips from JCKstyle magazine editors Carrie Soucy, Jennifer Heebner, and Laura Finkelstein.
Soucy led the presentation with a summary of 2007 clothing trends and complementary jewelry. For example, pieces with clean bold looks best complement fall’s A-line silhouettes and full sleeves, and geometric shapes and statement pieces pop when paired with cropped jackets and miniskirts. Knowledge of clothing trends and how they relate to fine jewelry is particularly important in order to woo an underserved demographic: female self-purchasers.
“Self purchasers are the biggest growth opportunity for jewelers, yet they’re the most neglected customer in the traditional retail jewelry environment,” said Soucy.
Finkelstein’s review of celebrity jewelry trends included images of popular stars, such as Helen Mirren, at recent red carpet venues. Celebrated star styles include lots of bangle bracelets, lacy bib necklaces, and button-shape earrings. Red carpet trends are important for jewelers to understand because of stars’ vast public appeal and the high-profile buzz generated by their ensembles. Keeping current with who wore what helps stores maintain reputations for being in the know and the best place to source the newest looks.
“It’s essential for members of this industry to pay attention to celebrity trends,” said Finkelstein. “While customers may not be able to afford the same pieces as celebrities, they look to them for current and fashionable shapes, styles, and colors.”
Finkelstein also reviewed men’s jewelry trends, which remain largely unchanged from previous years. White and alternative metals such as titanium, Tahitian pearls on leather cord necklaces, and round brilliant-cut diamond stud earrings still garner the most attention from guys.
Finally, Heebner touched on bridal jewelry trends and innovative ways to merchandise and sell jewelry. While round brilliant-cut diamonds set in Tiffany-style mountings are still tops in diamond engagement ring sales, stackable rings and commitment bands are also growing in popularity. They add color to bridal ensembles and honor the unions of all people in love.
Among Heebner’s tips: Dress up and wear jewelry at work and outside work. “How can you convince customers to buy fine jewelry if you’re not wearing any?” asked Heebner. She also encouraged jewelers to display fine jewelry on mannequins and atypical objects such as cake platters, and to utilize inexpensive custom-made duratrans displays in store windows. Sales tips included hosting themed events (such as the annual Oscar party held by Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers, Phoenixville, Pa.), gift baskets with items from other local luxury goods companies, and jewel-of-the-month clubs.